With Oliver Kylington returning to practice and Connor Mackey being returned to AHL Stockton yesterday, the Calgary Flames look to have dodged yet another bullet on the injury front. The past couple weeks have had Flames fans holding their breath over potential injuries to Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Jacob Markstrom, and most recently Kylington, though none ended up being serious. The only man games lost were the past two games that Kylington did not suit up for.
So far this season, the Flames have been very fortunate to not sustain any long-term injuries to any of their regulars. It’s a big reason why they’ve been clicking all season long and have developed chemistry on almost every single line and pairing. They’re a close-knit group and are thriving in the consistency.
Just how consistent have they been? Let’s take a look.
Total skaters to play for the Flames
This season, the Flames have played 59 games so far, and have used a total of 25 skaters. This is the lowest number in the NHL.
|Team(s)||Total Number of Skaters|
|CAR, NYR, TBL||28|
|BOS, CBJ, MIN, NSH, PIT||29|
|DET, COL, WPG, SEA, VAN, STL||30|
|TOR, NYI, EDM, NJD||31|
|PHI, FLA, WSH||32|
|OTT, SJS, ANA, BUF||33|
The next closest team is the Dallas Stars with 27 total skaters used this season, followed by three teams at 28 and five teams at 29. The team with the most skaters used this season is the Montreal Canadiens with 36.
The Flames have essentially rolled out the exact same lineup game after game, with the odd tweak to the bottom pair or fourth line here and there. For the most part though, the Flames you see on any given night is the Flames team you’ll see on any other one.
Skaters to play in all team games
Of those 25 skaters, the Flames so have the highest number of players to suit up for every single team game this season.
|Team(s)||Skaters to play in |
100% of team games
|NYR, DET, PHI||4|
|CAR, TBL, BOS, CBJ, NYI, ARI, LAK||3|
|MIN, NSH, PIT, COL, WPG, EDM, FLA, OTT, SJS, CHI||2|
|SEA, VAN, NJD, ANA, MTL||1|
|STL, WSH, BUF, VGK||0|
So far, the Flames have played 59 games and have 11 players who have played in all of them. That leads the league by a wide margin; the next closes team is the Toronto Maple Leafs with six players to play in all team games. Four teams have zero skaters who have played in every game, and another five have just one.
The Flames are in a league of their own in this category, and that predictably remains when the threshold is lowered.
|Team(s)||Skaters to play in |
95% of team games
|TOR, DAL, NYR, DET, PHI, LAK, NSH||8|
|TBL, BOS, MIN, COL, FLA, VAN||6|
|CAR, NYI, EDM, NJD, ANA, BUF||5|
|ARI, OTT, VGK||4|
|PIT, SJS, CHI, SEA, WSH||3|
Same story with 95% (as well as 90% and 85%—take our word for it). Their roster consistency is head and shoulders above every other team in the NHL. At 95%, the next closest team is the Columbus Blue Jackets at nine skaters compared to the Flames’ 13. At 90%, the Flames have 15 skaters and the next highest is the Tampa Bay Lightning with 13. At 85%, it’s the Flames at 16 and the Stars next with 15.
Consistency breeds chemistry
The most important thing for a good team to have heading into the playoffs is chemistry up and down the lineup. A consistent roster and line combinations is a key to matching up well with opponents and knowing what to expect from any line or pairing when they’re on the ice. So far, the Flames have been taking their good health to the bank and developing a roster they know can win on any given night.
They’ve been lucky with injuries so far, and the trade deadline could shake things up a bit, but what you see is what you get with this Flames team. Don’t expect that to change too much from now until the first game of the playoffs.
Ahead of tonight’s contest, the bookies have predicted the Flames as the favourite, with Betway Sports pricing the Calgary Flames at -190 and the New Jersey Devils at +320 to win the game in regulation, with an overtime decision being priced at +390.